On june the 30th Adam Mosseri has put out a video on Twitter announcing what they are currently focising on working at Instagram.
In the video he said they are working on four key areas: Creators, Videos, Shopping and Messaging. His key message was that Instagram isn't a photo sharing app or a square photo sharing app anymore.
This may not seem problematic at the first glance but to understand the changes you first need to understand what the algorithm is and how it works and what it does. And with that how it affects the people that use it either as a user or a creator.
What is the algorithm and how does it work?
The algorithm is a process or actually many processes to predict what you might be interested in at any given moment. This is achieved trough ranking. For most surfaces the core order is as it follows:
What is available: for feed and stories specifically they look at what stories or posts you havent seen yet or may be interested in by the people you follow
How do they do that?: They look at what Instagram knows about these Stories or Posts and about the person that posted and about you. And this information is used to create a score that shows how interested you might be in this post or story. The most important factors are: how likely are you to spend time with that post, like that post, comment on that post, save that post or tap on the profile of the person that created the post.
So now that we know how the algorithm works what is about to change?
The algorithm is most likely about to change in a way that affects many people because videos and reels will be promoted more than picture or photo posts. You may think that this is not too bad because a lot of people like those but it means that photo posts are recommended even less. You will start to get more stories recommend when they share reels and your feed will also have less photo posts.
This makes it even harder for artists and small businesses to reach their followers. It is already really hard especially for artists because posting regularly (at least twice a week) is already hard. If an update like this were to come it could destroy artists and their motivation to post because their reach will be partially taken away.
Another consequence could be that artists and businesses stop posting on Instagram. That would also mean less content and therefore less usage of Instagrams picture posts. Many have already expressed their concerns though various social media on several occasions when the algorithm was changed but to no avail.
Many artists and businesses are upset because they don't feel like being taken seriously by the head of Instagram. Therefore they fear that they have to change to another social media platform because their posts simply don't reach anyone.
What could be done instead?
There could be something like another feed maybe a second feed to promote more photo posts and less reels or some feature that reccomends especially Artists of any kind also including models, photographers, activists and anyone that relies on photo posts. Or a second feed where the new changes are implemented and the original feed stays the same.
In conclusion there are a lot of possibilities on how the algorithm can be changed without affecting Artists and small business as much or to at least recommend videos and posts equally. So maybe with this petition the head of Instagram can see how much we still value photo posts and may consider to boost them a bit more in the future.
At the end a huge thanks to @kav.iix (on Instagram and Twitter) for all the help and the picture!